The presence of mold (fungi) in your home can cause a number of health problems, from common allergies to asthma, sleeplessness and various other illnesses. Young children, the elderly and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the potential negative effects of mold.
The detection of fungi in your home is not an easy task. Molds are microscopic and can grow on or inside your walls, around window and door frames, under carpets and in the roof of your house. It is often impossible to detect mold with the naked eye; however, mold often emits a distinct smell in the affected area. If you suspect the presence of mold in your home, you should not wait until health problems arise; it is advisable to conduct a mold test.
Can I conduct a DIY mold test?
Although there are exhaustive checklists available to guide homeowners through a series of observations for the purpose of detecting fungi, none of them are considered a reliable mold test. You can view these informative lists as merely the preliminary step toward the evaluation of your situation.
If you are considering renovations or extensive repairs to handle a mold problem, an advanced do-it-yourself mold test can be conducted. So before you tear down walls and rip out a carpet, do an appropriate test in order to determine what type of mold growth is affecting your home. Remember that allergenic, toxic and pathogenic substances are typically difficult to distinguish.
Some mold tests are to be conducted on surfaces such as drywall, plaster or wood framing, while others are conducted on the air by using a pump to collect an air sample. Collected samples may or may not need to be brought to a laboratory for analysis. Air samples are tested for the level of mold spores found per cubic foot or meter in a specific area.
When should I use a mold test?
If a leak has occurred in your plumbing system or in the event of a flood in your basement, it is a good idea to do a mold test. Since fungi feeds on moisture, its growth is a natural consequence of water permeation. Either contact a mold remediation specialist to assess the situation, or do it yourself.
If you or a member of your household is in a state of low immunity, conducting a simple mold test can alert you to the presence of fungi prior to the development of symptoms. Young children that have chronic runny noses, trouble sleeping or respiratory problems may be experiencing health issues due to the presence of mold. Most certainly, if you smell mold in an area of your house, do not hesitate to conduct a mold test.
What does mold smell like?
There are many types of mold found in the home and not all of them are harmful, but almost all emit a particular odor that can cause the respiratory system to respond with sneezing and/or a nose irritation. Sometimes, an odd taste in your mouth is experienced before your sense of smell registers the odor.
The smell of mold is generally musty, heavy and unpleasant. Some describe it as an odor similar to sweaty socks, while others say it smells like rotten food or wet leaves. It is, without doubt, distinct, constant and difficult to combat. It often permeates beyond the affected area.
Individuals who dwell in a mold infected home can eventually get accustomed to its odor, thereby subjecting themselves to potential serious health issues. If you suspect the presence of mold in your house, do this simple test. Step outside and breathe in the fresh air, then step inside and breathe in the air in your house. If there is mold, its musty scent should be quite noticeable.
Benefits of Contacting a Mold Remediation Specialist
Homeowner mold tests are a good way of determining whether renovations and repairs are needed to eliminate mold, especially in the case of evident water damage. When the presence of mold is not obvious, the expertise of a mold remediation specialist is recommended for a complete inspection of your home. They are trained in their field and can be trusted to solve your fungi problem. Eliminating mold in order to create a healthy home environment is a worthwhile endeavor.
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